As you read the story, think about the answers to these questions.
1. For how many years did Pieter study English at school?
2. What was different about the way Nori studied?

Bad Teacher or Bad Student?
"I was a good student."

My English teacher at school was not very good. She was not a native speaker. She was always angry and she was embarrassed to speak English in front of us. We did a lot of grammar and reading and writing. I did what she told us to do. I studied when I was told. I finished my work when I was told. I was a good student. I got top marks, but even after four years, I could hardly say a sentence in English.

Later I realised how stupid I had been. When I went to university, I made a friend called Nori. He had studied English at school too. His English teacher was worse than mine! However, it didn't stop him. He studied on his own. He made English speaking friends and met them every week. He spoke English on the Internet and he wrote to other English speakers. He watched his favorite English movies many times and spoke the actors' lines. He knew every line of the Lion King! His English was great.

I realised that the difference between us was that I blamed my teacher. I thought she wasn't a very good teacher so I couldn't learn English very well. I thought it wasn't my fault. But Nori didn't blame anyone. He just did what had to be done to achieve his goals.

Meeting Nori is probably one of the best things that ever happened to me. It changed the way I thought about a lot of things. Now I take responsibility for my decisions and achievements. I am more successful in learning English and in life generally.



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